Monday, June 18, 2007

Boston Invite Preview

Summer is here and so is the Boston Invitational. We have something like 70 teams competing this year. The fields should be in great shape, so it should be a great tournament. Here is my take on a divisional preview...in alphabetical order:

Mixed:
8 of the top 10 teams in the country(including 3 West Coast powerhouses and top teams from 4 of the 6 Regions). Awesome. This came together largely due to the efforts of Slow White in reaching out to the Mixed Nats teams and getting them organized. SW felt that more inter-regional play would help develop a sense of season, increase the quality of Mixed play, help prepare the teams for Nats, and, my favorite, help with seeding Nationals. SW also organized and pushed for quality Mixed teams to attend ECC and CHC, so they should be commended for their efforts. I think it will be interesting to see how the traveling teams do.

Open:
There have been some comments that the Open div is a bit "weak" this year. Only 2 Nats qualifiers this year. While I think the top 5-6 teams pretty much have the only shot at winning the thing, perhaps the wide open nature of the teams will create some interest? Who will play up or down? Hey, maybe some lack of predictability will be good for this entrenched div.

I am looking forward to getting a look at the Boston Ultimate team. With Graham's injury is this really a merger? Will the approach be different from DOG? Speaking of which, I am also interested in how Big Ego will fare when playing against the kids. Which brings up, of course, due to this, the potentially delicious BEU-Colt 45 rematch in Div B semis.....if things go to seed (and that is a big if). Will Colt 45 prevail again despite MD's adolescent definition of intensity? Or will Jimmy P make MD eat his words? Pull up a chair, folks. Plenty of heckling fodder there.........

Women:
Maybe I have saved the best for last? Mixed gives them a run for the money in terms of quality, but this the largest Women's tournament at BI in a number of years and it stock full of quality teams (8-10 Nats level teams plus many high placing Regional teams). I think it is likely that we will see a Brute-Backhoe final, but with a new 12 team elite div...there will plenty of good games.


11 comments:

Sam TH said...

Looks like a great tournament - I'm excited already. Can you say something about the surprising-to-me mixed format? It seems that it's just a round robin - no bracket at all. Did the teams ask for this?

gcooke said...

Hey Sam,

The Mixed Div is, as you know, usually a 10 team tournament with a bracket, but we decided to go with an 8-team round robin for a couple of specific reasons. We wanted to be able to guarantee 7 games to the teams...especially those traveling from the West Coast. In talking with Adam Tarr, many elite tournaments are going with the straight round robin and we felt that format would be the best for the teams.

We wanted to avoid what happened to Flaming Moe in 05. Due to a 3-way tie with Slow and 6TM in pool play, they ended up playing 6 games....semis was a rematch against 6TM.

-G

parinella said...

George, from my standing as a player formerly on an Elite team, it's more about getting quality games than getting a lot of games, and the (high) elite-only round-robin guarantees this.

Still, it's somewhat surprising that there is no final, although if seeds hold the final round of 1v2 is the de facto final.

But what gets me is the schedule. First-round byes on both days!

Also noticed that some of the Open teams have to move 2-4 fields over between rounds. Seems uncharacteristic.

Looking forward to the event. I don't expect to post a preview myself, but we're expecting to have more than 14 both days, which will really come in handy with our final round elimination game on Saturday. I'm just hoping that the weather predictions are right and that it doesn't crack 80 degrees.

gcooke said...

Hey Jim,

I decided to give the Mixed teams first round byes as half the teams in that division are traveling farther than any one else to participate.

In regard to Open moving around, it is a similar answer to the previous one. Both Mixed and Women's did a lot of work to recruit and get teams out to the tournament. As Comp Dir, I think they should be rewarded for their efforts in not only presenting a high level product, but also for things like helping to develop a sense of season. Perhaps Open has been a bit complacent and assumed that they get the prime locations no matter who shows up? Not any more......

-G

parinella said...

But the Open got 36 teams out, versus only 8 for Mixed and 20 for Women. Or are you just talking about the quality of the Elite? Definitely as far as attracting the top teams, Mixed has the best field, then Women, then Open.

The Elite teams in all divisions stay put. It's the mid-level teams that have to move around. Red Tide plays on field 9 and then has to move 4 fields over to 13 the next round. The lower Women's teams got shunted to the outer fields for the first two rounds.

Anyway, it wasn't "prime location" so much as "not the same set of fields". But that appears to be a necessary by-product of having byes because of more teams than fields (x2).

Finally, I think it's a good use of the first-round bye on Saturday at least to give it to those teams traveling from far away.

gcooke said...

Jim,

Yes...I went with quality and the effort to get those teams there.

The amount of moving is dictated, as you say, by the large number of teams and pretty much within the "accepted" norms of how the tournament has run in past years.

This is good opportunity to say to the teams that I had to make move all over the place: first: sorry...second: focus on the things you can control....third: no whining by the teams that wrote us literally begging for a spot.

-G

degs said...

parinella wrote...
Still, it's somewhat surprising that there is no final, although if seeds hold the final round of 1v2 is the de facto final.

But what gets me is the schedule. First-round byes on both days!

Without those first round byes they'd likely be able to have a final. Colorado Cup and ECC do the big round-robin (though ECC's is weird & not a true round-robin) and have a final... We have n/2 fields though.

kbf said...

Yes, taking away Mixed's first-round bye on Sunday would allow time for a final, but this final would be the 8th game of the weekend (assuming you retain round-robin play). And all 8 games should be quality ones, so it's not the same as playing 8 games in a weekend at a lesser tournament. It is weird that there isn't a traditional final, but all teams are getting 7 quality games over the weekend, and nobody's complaining about that.

Chuck said...

Hey George,

How are the fields looking? I went to the BI only once before, and the fields were pretty hard. Did that rain soften things up at all?

Chuck
Brass Moniker

gcooke said...

Hey Chuck,

The fields seem to be in pretty good shape....

-G

Seigs said...

"With Graham's injury is this really a merger? Will the approach be different from DOG?"

Yes. Yes.